Meet the Team

CMSPhoto_child life team _20170803160831.jpg

Top (L to R): Sue Mirabella, Brianne Smith, McKenzie Mattison, Melanie Mercurio, Tara Young. Bottom (L to R): Deb King, Dena Sterns, Molly Eshbach.

 

Sue Mirabella, CCLS

Covers: Entertainment, Donations, Healing Arts Coordinator
Education: MS in Special Education from Buffalo State College
Began working at OCH: January 1984
Background: Preschool Special Education Teacher, OCH Early Childhood Program (1984-2009)
Fun Fact: Began collecting door to door cash donations for OCH Variety Club Telethon at the age of eight

 

Brianne Smith, MS, CCLS

Covers: Evenings in the Emergency Department
Education: BS in Psychology/Child Life from Utica College; MS in Literacy from the College of Saint Rose
Began Working at OCH: April 2013
Fun Fact: Cat lover and nail polish addict
 

McKenzie Mattison, CCLS, LMSW

Manager, Volunteer and Family Services

Education: BA in Health and Human Services, Early Childhood from the University at Buffalo (2006), minor in sociology, Masters of Social Work from the University at Buffalo (2012)
Began Working at OCH: September 2006
Fun Fact: Rode a bike down a volcano in Hawaii

 

Melanie Mercurio, BS, CCLS

Covers: Days on a medical/surgical pediatric inpatient unit
Education: BS in Psychology - Child Life from Utica College
Began Working at OCH: 2015
Fun Fact: Loves to incorporate therapeutic messy play into her practice

 

Tara Young, CCLS

Covers: Same Day Surgery
Education: BA in Psychology
Began Working at OCH: 1992
Fun fact: Disney addict *o*

 

Deb King, BS, CCLS

Covers:  Days on a medical/surgical pediatric inpatient unit
Education: BS In Psychology from University of Iowa
Began Working at OCH: 1998
Fun Fact: Collects antique marbles and loves walking her crazy dog, Jax!

 

Dena Sterns, MS, CCLS

Covers: Days in Radiology
Education: BS in Psychology - Child Life from Utica College; MS in Executive Leadership & Change from Daemen College
Began Working at OCH: 1986
Fun Fact: Likes nature and hiking

 

Kersten Zwierlein, BS, CCLS

Covers: Evenings in the Emergency Department
Education: BS in Psychology from the University at Buffalo
Began Working at OCH: August 2017
Fun Fact: Is a Disney fanatic and was a cheerleader for 17 years

 

Micalene Schwartz, BS, CCLS (not pictured)

Covers: Oncology/Hematology and Epilepsy Monitoring Units
Education: BS in Child and Family Development, Emphasis in Child Life from Georgia Southern University
Began Working at OCH: April 2019
Fun fact: Southern girl that loves hiking and adventures

 

Kerstin Ford, MS, CCLS (not pictured)

Covers: Days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Education: MS in Family and Consumer Science/ Child Life- Illinois State University
Began Working at OCH: May 2019
Fun Fact: I swam for Illinois State University and now I am a powerlifter

Service Parent